What I watched last…
The Bourne Identity and The Bourne Supremacy (On DVD)
I thought these were enjoyable to some extent, but I wasn't as blown away by them as I thought I'd be from all I'd heard about them.
By the time I was watching Bourne 2 the handheld camera was getting to be too much. Much too much. That and all the fidgety little zooms. Why do I need to feel like I'm watching a documentary? Why draw attention to the fact this is captured n film? It's definitely not like there actually is somebody surreptitiously capturing all this action to deliver as documentary footage, and yet that's how the entire story is presented to me. I don't get it.
And by Bourne 2 the whole cut cut cut style of editing was too much too.
There's a parallel to this visual style in the dialogue of some scenes as well. It's full of what I call fluffy, hyper-frantic panicky jibba-jibba-jabba-jabba.
All that being said, the strength of these two movies is obviously the character of Jason Bourne himself, and his unstoppable nature. Watching his indefatigable journey through these movies is half the thrill at least.
In the end though, the bottom line is I don't think I'll be watching these movies again.
Taken (On DVD)
Having a break from the Bourne films I snuck this one in and enjoyed it so much more.
I like the solitary nature of Liam's journey through the movie with the singular purpose of his mission. I like his minimum reliance on high-tech gimmickry, instead using detective and physical skills, wits and total disregard for everything and everybody around him. Sure, a lot of Liam's breakthroughs and progression during his search were pretty convenient, but I was able to dismiss most of that as shorthand to be efficient in getting through lots of plot quickly.
Taken's not a masterpiece or a stroke of genius, but it knew what it was and did its job very well. It was a good, tense, no-nonsense thriller, and I really enjoyed it.
The Bourne Ultimatum (On DVD)
At best I was non-plussed by this conclusion to the trilogy. At worst I was again annoyed by all the things that annoyed me in the first two.
Is this 'naturalistic' camera style supposed to counteract the 'on the nose', affected, over the top acting and frenetic cutting. It doesn't feel like I'm watching a movie but a news report documentary reenactment instead.
Unfortunately the actual character of Jason Bourne becomes less and less likeable throughout the three films, as well as less compelling as he finds out most of what his back story is. The mystery of his past was his most interesting aspect, now mostly gone. As such I cared less and less to keep following him and his story. The plot this time was not terribly complex or hard to see through either.
So what do we have left? We have the action and spectacle to keep us watching. With the hyper frenetic cutting, pseudo doco handheld camera, amateur looking mini punch zooms, it became an unwelcome chore to have to struggle through watching the action and spectacle. That doesn't leave much reason to watch. At this point this movie runs mostly runs on "Oooh, he's so amazing!" and that's not enough for me.
Finally, it stupidly left a number of plot threads open. Why'd he join up in the first place? What didn't he actually remember about the girl? That first question is probably the most needing of an answer. Yet nothing.